Tomato-Rice Soup With Pesto Serves 6
A paste of miso, garlic and basil adds a true pesto flavor to this unforgettable soup. Unlike traditional pestos, this miso-based version has no added fat, so eat all the soup you like without any guilt.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

5 large tomatoes
12 cloves garlic
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups diced white onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup sushi rice
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup packed, fresh basil leaves
5 tablespoons mellow barley miso
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon mirin (Chinese cooking wine)
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Core tomatoes then cut in half crosswise and squeeze to remove seeds. Chop tomatoes coarsely and set aside.

2. Slice 9 cloves of garlic and set the remaining 3 cloves aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the sliced garlic, stock, onion, oregano, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add rice, tomatoes and tomato paste to the soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Meanwhile, drop the remaining garlic into the bowl of a food processor while the motor is running. When garlic is minced, add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add miso, tahini and mirin. Blend well. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot soup into the basil/miso mixture until smooth. Stir this back into the soup and reheat, but don't boil.

Mary Taylor is the author of New Vegetarian Classics: Entrees and New Vegetarian Classics: Soups (Crossing Press). She lives in Boulder, Colo.